On January 1, 2020 as we celebrated the feast of the Lord's Circumcision and the commemoration of St. Basil the Great, we were pleased to bless a new chalice set and candlestick, donated in memory of Catherine Lupiwok, who reposed this past year. We thank the generous donors and ask that the Lord grant the departed handmaiden of God, Catherine, memory eternal and blessed repose. Likewise, we humbly ask the Lord God to bless one and all during the New Year. May 2020 bring an increase in godliness, growth for the Church, peace for the world, and glory to the Lord Almighty!
On Sunday, January 5, the Eve of Theophany, we were pleased to receive the Howard family into the Orthodox Church through the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Confession, Chrismation, and the Eucharist. We heartily congratulate Lowen (Silouan), Rachael (Elizabeth), Judah (Panteleimon), Lewis (George), and Martin (Herman) as well as their sponsors, their family, and their friends on this special day. May the Lord grant them all health, strength, salvation, furtherance in every good thing, and many blessed years!
On Holy Theophany, the faithful gathered to commemorate Christ's baptism in the Jordan River and the revelation of the Holy Trinity. We served the Great Blessing of Water, a sacred rite of the Church which extends to us the blessing of the water sanctified by the Lord's entrance into the Jordan. We rejoice in this holy feast which brings about our renewal, regeneration, and santification. We send up glory, honor, and worship to our true God Who has revealed Himself to us!
On Sunday, January 12, we were pleased to welcome Judy and Matthew Williams into the catechumenate during the Divine Liturgy. We humbly ask the Lord's continued blessing upon them as they prepare themselves for sacramental reception into the Orthodox Church!
On Friday, January 24, parishioners from Christ the Savior joined other Orthodox Christians and hundreds of thousands of people who gathered for the March For Life in Washington, DC. The march is a pro-life rally protesting abortion, held in the nation's capital near the anniversary of the infamous decision in the United States Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. The March was preceded by the Divine Liturgy held at St. Nicholas Cathedral where His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon spoke about the significance of the day and the sanctity of life given by God.
On Sunday, January 26th, the parishioners of Christ the Savior gathered together for their annual meeting. In addition to reviewing the minutes from last year's meeting, the parish body heard reports from the rector, senior warden, junior warden, treasurer, auditors, and entrance commission.
On Sunday, February 2, 2020, we celebrated the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple as well as the Baptisms of John Isaac Davidson and Emory Emilia. We sincerely congratulate the newly-illumined John and Emilia as well as their sponsors, their family, and their friends on this special day. May the Lord grant them all health, strength, salvation, furtherance in every good thing, and many blessed years!
On Sunday, February 9, the faithful were presented with Prayers Ropes, Icons, and Incense from the Holy Mountain of Athos. These gifts were brought back by Michael Cook, who recently made pilgrimage to Greece and the Holy Mountain, bringing back with him these items for the parishioners as a blessing. Among the monasteries Michael visited was Xenophontos, a 10th century monastery dedicated to St. George, where a close friend of Michael's and a number of Americans have made their spiritual home.
On Sunday, March 1, following the Divine Liturgy, we had the beautiful and grace-filled Rite of Forgiveness before entering into the Holy Forty Days of the Great Fast. During this solemn ritual we ask and receive forgiveness from each other and the Lord, who says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.” (Matthew 6:14)
On Sunday, March 1, the parish had a joint birthday party for Mat. Dunia Hubiak and Mat. Emily Parsells who turn 90 and 40, respectively, this month. Flowers were presented and cakes were baked to mark this special event and in honor of these special ladies, who have dedicated much of their lives in service to the Church in general and this parish in particular. May the Lord grant them health, strength, salvation, a furtherance in every good thing and many blessed years!
From Monday through Thursday, March 2-5, the faithful gathered for the reading of the Great Canon of Repentance, written by St. Andrew of Crete in the 8th century. This service will be offered once more on April 1. The text of the Great Canon can be found here.
On Sunday, March 8, the local Orthodox parishes in Delmarva gathered at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Ocean City, MD for this year's solemn celebration of the Triumph of Orthodoxy. Serving with Fr. Chris Wallace from St. George's was Fr. Herman Acker from St. Andrew's in Lewes, DE, and Fr. Joseph Oleynik, Fr. John Parsells, and Dn. Steven Hall from Christ the Savior, here in Berlin, MD. The Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers was followed by the sharing of fellowship and lenten refreshments in the parish hall. Glory to God for such a beautiful day and sincere thanks to Fr. Chris and St. George's for hosting!
On Sunday, March 8, with the blessing of our diocesan hierarch, Metropolitan Tikhon, the 2020 Parish Council members were installed into office. During the first meeting of the 2020 Council, Cecilia Wyant was elected Senior Warden and Ioana Davidson was elected Treasurer. May the Lord bless them all!
On March 8, we celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy with a procession of icons during the Divine Liturgy and the reading of the ancient Synodicon, the affirmation of the Orthodox Faith that our salvation is proclaimed in both words and images. We congratulate all who celebrate on this day!
In light of the recent church closings due to the COVID-19, some are wondering whether or not the Church is in fact a place of healing for soul and body. Fr. John offers the following reflection on the topic.
On Tuesday, March 24, 2020 the entire parish community sends their heartful and prayerful best wishes to Matushka Dunia Hubiak, who today turns 90 years young. We thank her for all the love and tender care she has shown us all through the years, and we humbly ask the Almighty Lord God to grant her health, strength, salvation, a furtherance in every good thing, and many blessed years!
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, has released new directives and clarifications for celebrating Holy Week and Pascha in light of the pandemic.
On Friday, May 1, 2020, meeting under the Presidency of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church issued the following Pastoral Letter, and Synodal Directives related to COVID-19. Each Diocesan Bishop will be releasing diocesan specific guidelines shortly.
On Thursday, May 21, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon blessed and approved our plan to gradually reopen Christ the Savior starting with the weekend of May 23-24. The letter from Metropolitan Tikhon together with the plan may be read below. Questions regarding the plan may be addressed to Fr. John Parsells.
On Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, we blessed the Trike Motorcycle of one of our parishioners, Justin Barkewich, who is also a veteran from a family of four consecutive generations of military service. We thank Justin and his family for their service and sacrifices for us all. It is the custom of Orthodox Christians to have their vehicles blessed on acquisition and annually. We prayerfully wish Justin safe travels, asking the Lord to bless, protect, and direct his way to the Heavenly Kingdom!
On Pentecost Sunday, June 7, 2002 the faithful gathered to celebrate the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The joy of this day was only increased as we welcomed Justin Barkewich into the bosom of the Church through Holy Chrismation. May the Lord grant the newly-illumined servant of God, Justin, health, strength, salvation, furtherance in every good thing and many blessed years!
On Tuesday, June 23, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon blessed and approved amendments to our reopening plan which will take effect July 4, 2020. The letter from Metropolitan Tikhon together with the amendments may be read below. Questions regarding the plan may be addressed to Fr. John Parsells.
On Sunday, July 5th, the faithful prayerfully asked the Lord God Almighty to bless the parish pool and the fellowship it provides, throwing in the life-giving Cross of Christ to sanctify the water. The precious Cross is then retrieved by the children of the parish, remembering the words of the Lord, "Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me."
If you have been to church at Christ the Savior in the past few weeks, you’ve noticed the exciting work being done on the roadside Entrance Project. Our committee and workers, under the capable leadership of Tom Mathews, have been making great progress and we would like to thank them for their efforts to spearhead this endeavor! We are now at the point where we are in need of your help also.
On Saturday, July 25, 2020 we were pleased to welcome Amy Elizabeth, Raymond Thomas, and Eli Maximus Fortin into the Orthodox Church through the mysteries of Holy Baptism and Chrismation. We congratulate them together with their sponsors Zachary Davidson and Mat. Emily Parsells and their entire family. May the Lord grant them all health, strength, salvation, a futherance in every good thing, and many blessed years!
On Sunday, August 16, the faithful gathered to celebrate their parish feastday, the commemoration of the Icon Not-Made-By-Hands. The 20th anniversary celebration with His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon has been postponed to a future date in light of COVID-19 restrictions.
On several occasions parishioners gathered at the beach to enjoy the beauty of God's creation and share in fellowship with one another. Such gatherings are always open to all parishioners and friends, and we invite you to join us next time! Please contact the church for more details. Glory to God for all things!
On Wednesday, September 30, parish youth, accompanied by their parents, made a trip to the local State Police barracks to present the officers with cards and other artwork, showing our appreciation for their willingness to answer the call to protect and serve. The parish also purchased some food for the officers of the barracks from a local restaurant as a small token of our gratitude. Among the group from the church was our own Cpl. Dana Wyant, who serves on the police force in Rehoboth, DE. We heartily thank the officers who welcomed us to the barracks and ask humbly the Lord to bless, strengthen, guard, and preserve all our police men and women and their families!
On Sunday, November 1, prayers were offered at the end of the Divine Liturgy for those in the healing ministries. We ask the Lord's continued blessings upon all those who work with Him in the healing of mankind's physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds and illnesses. May the Lord grant them many blessed years of faithful service to Him and their fellow man!
On Sunday, November 8th, the children participated in our annual St. Michael's party, by dressing as saints and angels, and they also enjoyed ther activities. The St. Michael's Party also coincided with the parish Thanskgiving meal with the traditional foods and fixings. Many thanks to all who made this year's St. Michael's party and Thanksgiiving meal such a great success!
During the Divine Liturgy of the Lord's Nativity, we were very pleased to receive Jacob Luke Rickman into the Orthodox Church through Holy Chrismation. We sincerely congratulate him on this joyous occasion and we ask the Lord to grant him health, strength, salvation, a furtherance in every good thing, and many blessed years!